Interesting news from the world of learning platforms courtesy of The Assignment Report. Microsoft's free Windows Live infrastructure - which includes Live@edu email and SkyDrive online storage for learners and teachers - is being made available through UniServity, the UK learning platfrom provider that claims to have captured 40 per cent of all local authority framework agreements.

Meanwhile, the Etech Group, the company that supplies the Studywiz learning platform (and access to free Google Apps and email for schools), is partnering with Serco to provide a bi-lingual service for all primaries and secondaries in Ireland.

By Maureen McTaggart
Zenna AtkinsOfsted's Zenna AtkinsChildren are using technology in a way that has left an enormous number of teachers and schools behind. And it's creating a big gap between "what pupils get out of school and what is relevant to their lives”, according to Zenna Atkins, chair of schools inspectorate Ofsted.

In an astonishingly frank presentation at Channel 4's "What Comes Next?" summer conference, she said we live in a "sound bite culture" where children are getting their information and knowledge from each other via mobile devices yet education is still "very long winded". (Audio here.)

Tim RylandsTim Rylands: challenge for BETTIn the third week of January 2009, the BETT educational ICT show brought in 30,000 visitors, while the government's first Learning and Technology World Forum attracted 15,000. It would have been a 'mother of all learning festivals' if only the events could have been harmonised. Now Becta and the DCSF are planning for 2010. Will they be ambitious and inventive enough?

The big gap that needs filling, according to experts and a straw poll on Twitter, is simple - teaching and learning, CPD. And teacher and consultant Tim Rylands says he'd love to run a creative classroom involving up to 60 learners if the organisers can come up with the space. Can they? You can read the full story on the Futurelab site.

By Maureen McTaggartProfessor David BuckinghamDavid Buckingham
Irrationality, subversion, risk, danger, destruction and conflict are - alongside learning and democratic relationships - all in a day’s play for children, says Professor David Buckingham.

If we recognise this, we might get beyond the “rather tiresome polarised, binary logic” that often characterises discussions about play and video games. Can't play just be fun any more?

Sir Dexter HuttSir Dexter Hutt

Sir Dexter Hutt is a man on a wave. A curve to be more accurate. In fact it’s a Sigmoid curve and it underpins his school leadership strategies and the success of his work at Ninestiles near Birmingham, as well as his new role at the Hastings Federation of Schools.

This strategic view was the keynote presentation at the recent Frog Learning Platforms Conference in Manchester and the subsequent seminars showed how learners and teachers use technology like Frog’s to put innovative clothing on such imaginative and innovative frameworks.